Download a printable version of this document here
X-Ray Diffraction (XRD ) is the most common and powerful technique for the characterisation of crystalline solids.
A diffraction pattern contains a wealth of information about the unit cell of a solid.
What is a unit cell?
A unit cell is the simplest repeating unit in a crystal.
Depending on the unit cell, a cubic crystalline solid can be characterised as primitive, body-centred, face-centred or base-centred cubic.
How does it work?
When a crystalline object interferes with monochromatic (i.e. single wavelength) X-ray beams, these are scattered. The scattering angle and intensity of the scattered rays can be measured, and then used to characterise the solid.
Types of XRD
- Single crystal XRD is used mainly for determination of crystal
structures of molecular and non-molecular materials.
- Powder XRD can be used for many purposes including: phase
identification, determination of sample purity, quantitative analysis,
estimation of particle size.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.